obama has said it's my way or the highway and has stayed with that position through the end of negotiation. he has been, you know, flexible on almost everything. some people on the left think he's been too flexible on most things. and my guess is that if there's a way to get to an outcome that he thinks is the right outcome, he's going to be flexible on how to get there. >> is it fair to say, joe, as rattn e rattner implies that raising taxes are contrived to an extent? >> i don't know that they're contrived. i know a lot of us believed that when we lowered capital gains rates in the 1990s, that that was the right thing to do, that it would stimulate growth. you go, though, 10, 15 years later, and you see, again, this huge divide between the richest americans and the poorest americans, you drive through manhattan, greenwich, where people have just accumulated -- boston, wherever, just remarkable wealth, vast sums of wealth.